1. Steadfast love (hesed) is the predominant expression of the character of God in the OT (Exodus 34:6-7).
2. Steadfast love (hesed) is God’s posture toward repentant sinners who trust in Him (Psalm 130:3-8; 103:8-12).
3. God’s steadfast love toward us does not cease even in our sickness, adversity, hopelessness and apparent abandonment (Lamentations 3:22-33).
(See Part I for teaching on points 1 and 2 above. This sermon picks up with point 3.)
3. God’s steadfast love toward us does not cease, even in our sickness, adversity, hopelessness and apparent abandonment (Lamentations 3:22-33).
a. Is it okay to express your feelings of grief and pain and rejection to the Lord (Lam 3:16-20)?
b. Where do you go next— after pouring out your heart to Him (Lam 3:21)?
c. What good does faith hold on to when you can’t SEE anything good to hold on to (Lam 3:22-33)?
“God does indeed ‘afflict’ and ‘grieve’ the children of men (‘Though he cause grief,’ 3:32)… But then Jeremiah says that when God afflicts and grieves, this is ‘not…from his heart.’ This…points to an unfathomable mystery in God. It would be blasphemous to think of God as double-minded or having a split personality. It would be equally blasphemous to think of God as at war with himself rather than as seeing perfectly at every moment the way of truth and righteousness” (John Piper, Providence, p.493).
“The final word is not destructive judgment but forgiving compassion. Neither cancels out the other. But Jeremiah declares that the abundance of God’s steadfast love will have the last word… Causing affliction and grief has its place in the expression of God’s justice and holiness against sin. But more central to God’s nature is ‘the abundance of his steadfast love’ (3:32)… Affliction and grief are not from God’s heart. Rather, from his heart of hearts (so to speak) come compassion and steadfast love” (John Piper, Providence, p.492-95).